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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke January 21, 2021

No, Joe Exotic wasn’t pardoned

If Your Time is short

  • Joe Exotic wasn’t pardoned by President Donald Trump.

Before Inauguration Day, a limousine was parked outside the office of the lawyer for Joseph Maldonado-Passage, the animal keeper known as Joe Exotic. The luxe ride was on standby to transport Exotic from federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, where he’s serving a sentence for animal abuse and murder for hire. Exotic, who became widely known to Americans as the subject of the Netflix documentary "Tiger King", was hopeful that then-President Donald Trump would pardon him before he left office. 

Exotic’s team was so confident he would be released that a hairdresser was waiting in the limo to style his hair before he was seen by the public

Some social media posts declared that it was a done deal. 

"Joe Exotic is being pardoned," one Jan. 20 post said

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This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Exotic was not among the 74 people that Trump pardoned, however. 

"I was too innocent and too GAY to deserve a Prdon from Trump," read a tweet from Exotic’s account after President Joe Biden was sworn into office. "Boy were we all stupid to believe he actually stood for Equal Justice? His corrupt friends all come first."

We rate claims that he was pardoned False.


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No, Joe Exotic wasn’t pardoned

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